Rory McIlroy secured the second major title win of his career with an impressive final round of 66 to record 8-shot victory at Kiawah Island in the U.S. PGA Championship which simply left the rest of the field in his wake.
The Northern Irish superstar was nicely poised at -2 after the first 36 holes of the tournament heading into the weekend, just 2 behind halfway leaders Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, with a solid second round of a three over par 75 in the horrendously difficult conditions which troubled much of the field.
McIlroy began his surge into pole position on the third day, making his way to -6 after the first 9 holes before the rest of play was suspended due to the hostile weather conditions. A busy Sunday lay ahead for much of the field with much of the field completing their third rounds in the morning ahead of the start of the fourth round.
McIlroy completed his third round on seven under, 3 shots ahead of first round leader Swede Carl Petterson who he partnered alongside American Bo Van Pelt in the final group’s play for the fourth round. Hopes of the rest of the field being able to catch McIlroy were dashed as the man from Holywood played an excellent final round, in which he did not drop a shot and in which mistakes were rare with the 23-year old able to recover from any minor blips he made.
The biggest challenge came from Englishman Ian Poulter, who birdied the opening 5 holes of his last round but was still unable to ever close the gap on McIlroy, with Poulter ending the tournament in joint-third on minus 4 alongside fellow Englishman Justin Rose, Petterson and reigning PGA champion Keegan Bradley.
Another Englishman David Lynn surprisingly finished up in second after a marvellous last round of 68 to give him the finish whoch propels him to 16th in the European Ryder Cup rankings. Tiger Woods, joint-leader at the start of the weekend, ended his tourament on 2 under after another final day of missed opportunities to continue the recent trend of solid Major performances without finding the once-habitual killer instinct in the final round.
McIlroy’s emphatic victory, just over 2 years after he won the 2010 U.S. Open by 8 shots at Congressional, restores him to the number-one ranking in the world and sees the talent secure his second Major championship at 23, younger than Tiger Woods was when he won his second Major. Any doubts over McIlroy’s ability to become a dominant multiple-major winning force on the golfing stage for years to come have surely now been eradicated.